Tag Archives: Veterans Administration

a female soldier holding a heart

Honoring Our Veterans 

In the United States we reserve November 11, the date of the Armistice of World War I, as Veterans Day, to remember and honor all who do or have served in our armed forces.

The Veterans Administration provides benefits to veterans including health care. The VA Health Care System, or VHA,  one of the largest in the world, not only cares for veterans’ health, but also  provides medical education and medical research.

If you have ever received care from a physician who trained in the United States, that doctor likely learned from a veteran in a VHA facility. So our veterans continue to serve even after they leave military service. 

Welcome Home Heroes- military sign


Here I  share several stories about veterans. Enjoy them, and make  time to thank veterans this week.

disabled veteran patch


I believe your heart will be touched by this  story about the special relationship between  a wounded veteran and his therapy dog. Mine certainly was.

“It’s been quite a journey for U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford and his canine companion, Gabe.

In 2012, Lansford lost his left leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.”


My husband served in the Army and was deployed to Vietnam in the 1970s. Here is his story

From bullets to blessings-one man’s journey to recovery from war

“I didn’t want to ever go to Vietnam again when I came home in 1972 after a one-year tour of duty with the United States Army. I was stationed with the Americal Division, 3/18 Field Artillery Battalion near Tra Bong, a major village located about 25 miles west of Chu Lai, the headquarters of the Americal Division, on “China Beach” at the South China Sea.”

army veteran standing next to a floral bouquet at a memorial

We always visit the traveling Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall replica when it comes to our area.


Memorial Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Angel Fire, New Mexico

a special Memorial Day observance at a unique veterans memorial

statue of a soldier in a small flower bed

Doug Scott Sculpture at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ,Angel Fire New Mexico; I am kneeling in the background, viewing the veterans’ memorial walkway; Photo by Raymond Oglesby




A veteran dishes out love– personal reflections from a Vietnam veteran

“The people around us are starving for love and we need to unlock our pantry and see to it that everybody gets a belly full.”


clowns entertain Vietnamese people

Billy and Jingles, a veteran and his wife, entertain at a medical clinic in Vietnam




how a father honored his veteran son’s memory


Please share this post and  leave a comment as a tribute to a veteran you love and admire. This post was featured on 



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Declaration of Independence and the American flag

Let’s celebrate Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health Care

Every year on July 4th we celebrate Independence Day- the day the original 13 American colonies established an independent country.

They subsequently established a government, military, educational system, highway system, public works, and a healthcare system.

We Americans may pride ourselves on not having “socialized” medicine or “national healthcare”, but we do have  a health care system that is a combination of public and private funding and administration. And even private healthcare must comply with a myriad of local, state, and federal laws and regulations.


I believe we have one of the best healthcare systems in the world  because of the people who work in healthcare- the people who devote years to education and training and who work tirelessly 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to make and keep us well.  Their commitment, compassion, dedication and competence benefits all of us and deserves our gratitude.




Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty lifting her torch in New York harbor


According to recent statistics, the United States government accounts for-

40% of healthcare  spending

$1.3 trillion /year

Covering 100 million individuals

Through 4 federal agencies

Department of Health and Human Services 

Department of Defense

Veterans Administration

Department  of Homeland Security

(JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 21, 2016)



The  United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 to guarantee basic health insurance to all citizens.  President Trump vowed to “repeal and replace” this law and currently Congress is grappling with that task.

During the American Revolution the fledgling government extended health care benefits to the soldiers and veterans of that war; that system evolved into the current military health care system which covers service members and the Veterans’ Administration system for veterans.

a Veterans Administration clinic

a Veterans Administration clinic (photo by blogger)

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan



Two other government healthcare programs- Medicare and Medicaid are over 50 years old. 

Medicaid provides insurance coverage for adults and children who are unemployed or low income.  

Medicare covers disabled children and adults  and persons 65 years and older.

The numbers are rather staggering.

  • Together these programs cover at least 30% of Americans.
  • Together they comprise 25% of all federal spending.
  • Together they pay 40% of total U.S. health care spending.

An infographic from the Kaiser Family Foundation and JAMA explains this further.



You may not be eligible for either of these programs now, but chances are eventually you or someone close to you will.

  • Anyone can become disabled from a serious illness or freak accident.
  • You or your spouse may lose your job and your employer sponsored health insurance.
  • Your child may have a disability that will prevent them from working when they grow up.
  • We may all live long enough to qualify for Medicare on the basis of age alone.  Your parents or grandparents are near or already at Medicare age.
Senior adults age 65 and older use Medicare.

Senior adults age 65 and older use Medicare.


It’s important to understand how Medicare works, since it’s not automatic; even if you qualify, you need to sign up to be covered (with a few exceptions). The rules are summarized here. Or consider an easy to understand book here. 


Several government agencies regulate, monitor,  promote and/or support both public and private healthcare including-


Food and Drug Administration- FDA

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- CDC

National Institutes of Health- NIH

Occupational Safety and Health administration-OSHA

Drug Enforcement Agency-DEA


I’ll feature some of these agencies on Facebook as Wednesday Words in July.

I’ll also share posts from their Facebook pages throughout the month so stop by often. 


medication capsules

The FDA regulates the development and sale of medications and medical devices and the DEA regulates dangerous and controlled drugs.

Congress enacted several important laws that  concern health care such as

The Affordable Care Act- ACA

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-HIPPA

Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act- EMTALA

Health Information Technology  for Economic and Clinical Health- HITECH

Americans with Disabilities Act-ADA

Family Medical Leave Act-FMLA






Liberty Bell -replica

replica of the Liberty Bell at Disney World, Florida



In the Declaration of Independence, the founders of the United States created a nation based on the “self-evident truths”  of  “Life ,Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” and to promote “Safety and Happiness” . 

In the Constitution they vowed to “promote the general Welfare” .


I wonder if they envisioned their new government would spend so much time and money providing and regulating health care –

most of which was not available or even imagined at that time? 



Let’s celebrate!

woman holding a sprakler

Let’s celebrate ! This photo and featured image from stock photo site- Lightstock.com (affiliate)




Comments welcome and encouraged!